There’s no getting away from the fact the UK is going through an economic downturn at the moment. It’s in all the papers, there’s something about it on the news every week and you've probably noticed the effects at work. Many businesses are struggling to generate the kind of revenue they once were because trade is slowing and this inevitably has a knock-on effect on employees.
Think about it. Many companies are being forced to make redundancies and even if this hasn't happened within your enterprise, you can imagine the effect this has on morale and the attitudes of staff. They will probably be coming into work each morning wondering whether or not they will have a job at the end of the day – which can create a pretty sombre feeling in an office. Productivity dips and your business finds itself in an even worse position.
Basically, as an employer you need to find a way to reassure employees, rebuild their confidence in the company and demonstrate that their contribution is valued within the firm. But how? Gifts can often seem like empty gestures and you’re probably not in a position to offer pay rises or bonuses.
One solution could be to host a staff dinner. You might think this is an event only reserved for Christmas parties, but that doesn't have to be the case and in fact, you might just be surprised at how effective Experiential Events can be when it comes to boosting morale.
Here are some reasons why:
It Gets People Talking
An event like this will give employees the chance to chat away from the office and perhaps get to know those they don’t often speak to. This will help to improve relations, generally motivate people and give the office a new breath of fresh air.
Give a Speech
If your employees are feeling unsure about their future at the company and redundancies, giving a speech is a far more personal way of reassuring them and discussing the situation than sending an email. Use this opportunity to be honest – don’t just use a load of management speak that your employees will see straight though. Offer reassurance but don’t try and kid people, this isn't what they want.
Free Food Always Helps
You may not be able to offer everyone pay rises, but planning and paying for a staff meal will show you are still thinking of people and want to show your appreciation. Do your research before you book anywhere and you’ll find a lot of restaurants and bars have special deals if you’re booking a meal for a large party.
It Can be Fun
Come up with a fun addition to the meal. Perhaps a mini awards ceremony honoring the best dressed male and female, or the person who’s always late. These shouldn't be serious awards, but just a bit of fun with a small prize like a box of chocolates. You can get people to vote on the winners in advance – this is something else that will bring a bit of fun to the office. You could complement this with a serious award such as ‘outstanding employee of the year’. This will give you a way to show your appreciation if you can’t reward the people who have done well with a bonus or pay rise.
So as you can see, a staff dinner might not seem like a big deal, but with some good Events Management it can actually be a fantastic motivator and a great way to boost morale at a time when staff need reassurance and support from their employer.